Written by: BL on 30/03/2014 00:41:02

From Dallas Texas, InDirection's post-hardcore/metalcore debut "Clockworks" gives off a lot of strong vibes reminiscent of last year's "An Eye For An Eye" from Like Moths To Flames. Surprises are few to those familiar with said record, or a large portion of the Rise Records roster, with thick chugging breakdowns laid between twangy downtuned riffs, and the odd clean chorus thrown in to break the monotony. Indeed InDirection's musical recipe is more of an eye roller than a widener as it's just about the most predictable style of this kind of heavy music you'll ever hear. That said, there are a few redeeming aspects to be found for those willing to endure the more passable songs, or if you just simply enjoy the genre enough to not care.

For the most part the instrumentals are fairly plain as mentioned already, where early songs like "Clockworks" and "Enemies" use a smattering of fairly repetive freight train style breakdowns - weighty and dense but quick to become banal after the umpteenth time. The actual riffs are also incredibly uninspired when it's the same few low guitar notes plucked again and again. Although there are a few small instances of lead guitars in the background that pop up, which nowadays is so rare for these kind of bands sadly. Frontman Landis Daniels is fortunately a somewhat engaging vocalist with his powerful guttural screams, which then transforms into a pleasant singing voice that isn't unrealistically high pitched for once, as the chorus of the opening song quickly indicates. The similarities to Like Moths To Flames become ever more apparent as we move through tracks starting with "Defiance", the eerie introduction and the chorus in particular, but also the breakdown at the half way point of the song is straight off influenced by numerous heavy tracks from "An Eye For An Eye" (that upwards open guitar strum is a key technique that gets used a lot).

"Surface" lets Landis show off his singing pipes a bit more, the first clean segment in the song is particular strong, and the piano in the background is a subtle but welcome touch. Ironically while that song is perhaps one of the more melodic, it's also got one of the heaviest breakdowns across the entire record. By the latter stages of the album, these sort of ridiculously heavy parts become increasingly more frustrating and repetitive, where the melodic parts are all that stops the album from sinking truly past redemption. The introductions to "Breathless" and "Secrets" are such throwaways in terms of breakdowns it's almost laughable. Initially "Throne" felt similarly disappointing, but then once again Landis brings out some wonderfully powerful clean vocals towards the end of the song that change the mood entirely. He then follows that with "Illumination" which is likely the catchiest song on the whole album and probably the best song overall with a killer end, before an adequately atmospheric and low key ballad in "Sleepless" brings the album to an acceptable close.

"Clockworks" will probably not be the most exciting release for most post-hardcore/metalcore fans on the calender, but it does have the occasional quality moment if you are an avid listener of the genre. And if you enjoy such bands as Like Moths To Flames or something of that ilk then this will be a passable poison until something bigger and better rolls by inevitably. For everyone else, the scene invariably goes on so you shouldn't feel like you've missed anything.

Download: Surface, Throne, Illumination
For the fans of: Like Moths To Flames, The Color Morale, The Word Alive
Listen: Facebook

Release date 25.02.2014
InVogue Records (Earshot)

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